“In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society (meeting) in Aldersgate street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the epistle of the Romans. About a quarter before 9, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone, for my salvation, and an assurance was given me that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
~ John Wesley, May 1738 (emphasis mine)
UNWILLINGLY …. he wasn’t too ready, or excited, or even desiring to go to this meeting. The saying goes “when there’s a will there’s a way”. But for Wesley, he didn’t even have much will in him but STRANGELY he still met the WAY in an unexpected way.
UNWILLINGLY … at first, I attended this “meeting” that I knew next to nothing about, didn’t know why I was selected and worse, not knowing what can I contribute. STRANGELY … I learnt quite a lot about people, about what’s running in the minds of some Christians and what they perceive about pastors, church leaders. Interestingly, with some “corporate” and “business” jargon that was floating around I survived!
UNWILLINGLY … I thought going to this other “appointment” might turned out to be futile. Again, I feel inadequate with handling the unknown. STRANGELY, again I was brought to a deeper understanding of people with learning difficulties and the affects (plus strain) on one’s family.
UNWILLINGLY, I restarted my “ordination paper” – Lutheran Pietism: Implications for Church Renewal within the Lutheran Church in Malaysia & Singapore. STRANGELY … reading “Turning Points” by Mark Noll, especially the chapter on “The New Piety” .. warmed my heart especially with Wesley’s quote.
UNWILLINGLY. at times I wake up trying to calm Gareth down. STRANGELY, he smiles … he just wants to be carried.
There are so many times I land up doing somethings “UNWILLINGLY” … and I could have just ignored them, whether it’s a phone call or email, or a meeting, a time of solitude, prayer, etc. But STRANGELY, God’s grace breaks through and surprises me with his blessing, his inspiration, his love.
So often, I hear nowadays, about our “unwillingness” to be so called “forced” or do something unless we’re excited about it. But then again, are we missing out on possible “Strangely” blessed moments. I’m not saying that life is always a drag and we need to grind our teeth and live devoid of any “fun”. But, then there’s lots of things that need to be done. And the “fun”, results and happiness STRANGELY comes after we do them. We’re not always going to be “very willing” in many things we do, but “Stangely” a lot of good things come that way as well …